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From Martin Kleppmann <mar...@kleppmann.com>
Subject Re: Ruby gem fork - contribute back?
Date Thu, 26 Jun 2014 12:01:14 GMT
IMHO it's not a big problem to support many versions of Ruby in a single gem. I would much
rather have one gem that works in all widespread versions of Ruby (1.8.7, 1.9.3, 2.0, 2.1)
than the complexity of multiple branches or forks.

On the whole, Avro should work in modern versions of Ruby; if anything is broken, we should
be able to fix it without breaking compatibility with 1.8. For example, this patch I posted
a while ago fixes a major encoding issue under Ruby 2.0:https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/AVRO-1499
-- I'd love someone to give it a review please, so that we can get it committed.

Continuing to support Ruby 1.8 means we can't use Ruby 1.9 language features (e.g. the compact
syntax for hashes with symbol keys) which is a shame, but not a major problem IMHO. All the
unicode handling can be dynamically enabled/disabled at runtime depending on whether the Ruby
VM supports it.

Willem, it would be great to get your changes merged upstream. I'm happy to help you get them
committed. Is there something in particular that is forcing you to drop 1.8 support?

As long as Avro works in modern versions of Ruby, and supporting Ruby 1.8.7 isn't overly burdensome,
I think it would be ok to drop Ruby 1.8.7 support in Avro 1.8.0, but keep it until then.


On 26 Jun 2014, at 03:46, Sean Busbey <busbey@cloudera.com> wrote:
> Personally, I'd rather see #2.
> I think it's very hard to know what the current use of Ruby 1.8 is. Support
> from the MRI community only ended ~1 year ago[1]. JRuby still supports
> running in 1.8 mode. They'll be dropping it in their next major release,
> but there isn't a schedule for that yet and they expect the current major
> release line to continue for some time after that[2]. Additionally, Heroku
> won't be ending support until the end of this month[3]. Even after that,
> it's not clear to me that they won't allow users to keep using it.
> As mentioned previously I'm a JRuby-in-1.9-mode user and I usually just
> work with the Java libraries directly. So this won't directly impact me,
> but I agree that it sucks when upgrades break things. So I don't feel like
> #1 is an option.
> We could also investigate maintaining a single gem that just had two
> implementations with in it, with the active one determined by the Ruby
> version.
> [1]: https://www.ruby-lang.org/en/news/2013/06/30/we-retire-1-8-7/
> [2]: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/jruby-users/qmLpZ7qDwZo/J_iYViplcq4J
> [3]: https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/ruby-support#ruby-versions
> -Sean
> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:41 PM, Doug Cutting <cutting@apache.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:16 AM, Willem van Bergen <willem@vanbergen.org>
>> wrote:
>>> It's possible to have 2 different gems, but this is not very common in
>> the Ruby world.
>>> Because Ruby 1.8 is not maintained anymore, not even for security
>> issues, most
>>> people have moved on to newer versions.
>> I can see a couple of options:
>>  1. Assume that no one actually uses Ruby 1.8 anymore, and upgrade to
>> 1.9 in Avro 1.7.7.  A change that doesn't break anyone isn't
>> incompatible.
>>  2. Assume some folks still use Ruby 1.8 and add a ruby1.9 fork in
>> Avro 1.7.7.  Ruby users who upgrade to Avro 1.7.7 would need to opt-in
>> to the Ruby 1.9 version.
>>  3. Wait until we release 1.8.0 to upgrade Avro to support Ruby 1.9.
>> (3) seems like a bad option unless we're confident we're going to
>> release a 1.8.0 soon, which I am not.  Folks hate getting broken by
>> upgrades.  Avro is a dependency of a lot of Java applications.  Having
>> an incompatible release makes it hard for one component to upgrade
>> without forcing all to upgrade.  Either you end up with a broken stack
>> or with one that can never upgrade.  Which of (1) or (2) seems more
>> palatable to Ruby folks?  Are there other options?
>> Doug
> -- 
> Sean

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